Monday, May 17, 2010

Series Preview: Pirates at Phillies 5/16-5/17

The first place Phillies (23-13) return home this week to host the Pirates (16-21), who are in third place in the NL Central, five games behind the division leading Reds. The two teams will meet in a brief two game series.

Jimmy Rollins has been activated from the disabled list and Wilson Valdez, who is out of options, has been designated for assignment to make room on the roster. Rollins will see his first action at home this year. He injured calf during warm ups prior to the Phillies' home opener on April 12th. Rollins will bat third in the lineup.

The Phillies are 9-1 against the central division thus far this season. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other key details from this series.

Monday, 7:05pm. Charlie Morton (1-6, 9.19 ERA) vs. Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 5.89 ERA). Morton has a 4.00 ERA over his last three starts. In 2 career games against the Phils, Morton has allowed 7 earned runs in 8 innings pitched. Jimmy Rollins is 5-for-5 against Morton, with a double. Kendrick also has a 4.00 ERA over his last three starts. Kendrick is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two starts against the Pirates. Ryan Church is 5-9 (.511 avg) with a homer and 4 walks against Kendrick.

Tuesday, 7:05pm. Zach Duke (2-4, 5.56 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (6-1, 1.59 ERA). In 4 starts against the Phillies in his career, Duke is 1-3 with a 4.78 ERA. Duke won his first two starts of the season and has not won since then. Jayson Werth is 3-for-6 with a double a homer and 4 RBI against Duke. In 3 home starts this season, Halladay has posted a 3-0 record with a 1.13 ERA and a .207 batting avg. against. In 3 May starts, Halladay has a 1.21 ERA.

Andrew McCutchen is fourth in the National League with a .340 batting average. McCutchen's 5 homeruns lead the Pirates. He is batting .432 in May.

Pittsburgh closer Octavio Dotel has 7 saves and a 7.04 ERA this season. In 16 career games against the Phils, Dotel is 3-1 with a save and a 1.95 ERA.

Shane Victorino is batting .333 this month with a 1.097 OPS compared to a .226 avg. and a .650 OPS in April. Victorino, a switch hitter, is batting .357 against lefties, while posting a .237 avg. against right-handers.

In 30 games against the Pirates, Ryan Howard is a .160 hitter (16-for-100) with 3 homers and 15 RBI.

Chase Utley is expected to miss the series opener, out with flu-like symptoms.

In 52 career games against the Pirates, Jimmy Rollins is 72-for-210 (.343. avg) with 7 homers and 28 RBI. Rollins batted .259 in 79 home games last season.

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